Best Paint Contractors in Denver
I recently found my company, Walls by Design, on a list of the Best Paint Contractors in Denver for 2016 by the good folks at Expertise.com. My first thought was…Sweet! But then, I decided to do some competitive analysis on who made the list. This is my competition, right? I should know about them. The first thing I thought when looking over the list was: why are these people on this list? Because I have never heard of many of them. Here is the list, and I’ll include a link to their website, oh, and it’s in alphabetical order, so no favoritism here:
Aesthetica Painting & Contracting
Colorado Commercial & Residential Painting
Old Western Paint Company – this isn’t even a painting contractor!!
Additional Paint Contractors
So that is the list. I went through about 95% of the list, looking at their websites and their Facebook pages, and I have to say, overall I was not impressed. I was by a few of them, but some didn’t even have a website. It did help me understand that there is a lot of stuff on the web that is not the “best”, as this post would propose. Why are these the “best”? I know lots of Denver painting contractors, and several of them are not on the list. Companies like:
These are few of the companies that I consider my competition. I think you will see a wide variety of contractors now. There are small (two to three man shops) all the way up to the largest national painting franchise. You can also do your own internet search for “paint contractor Denver” to create your own list. So, I am not sure the posting from Expertise.com really has the ability and authority to identify the best painters in Denver, even if we are on the list. While I would argue that we are at the top of this list, you have to know where the information is coming from.
So, what makes a Denver painting company the best?
My guess is that this blogger simply did some research and aggregated a list. They clearly didn’t put much thought into it, even though their own article claims their criteria is: Reputation, Credibility, Experience, Availability, Professionalism, and Engagement. I am not sure this is possible with a simple Google search. I know I was never contacted for the article to find out my availability or to check my experience.
With this information, you must be thinking to yourself two things: first, how does one determine who is the best and second, why the hell are you doing a blog post on your competition? Ah ha! Let’s tackle the first one.
How does a homeowner determine who is the best painter? I think you have to first determine what you value first. Is it price? Time? Reputation? Availability? Personality? I don’t think any painter or paint company will fit all those criteria. As you know, the price is a big factor for most people. If I gave you a bid to paint your 3000 square foot house for $1000, you might be a bit wary. Too cheap right? Even if I was on time, gave a good presentation, and had a good reference or two. But if I came in at $10,000 you might be mad after the same presentation. There is a balance, right? Here is what I would do if I was looking to get a bid for my home (and I didn’t already own a Denver painting company):
- Ask anyone I knew that just got their home painted. Not just for the name, but what did they learn along the way. What went right and what went wrong? How did they handle any problems? This can teach you a lot.
- Search online. This would start with a generic search for painting contractors, but it would also include a search for any specific companies that people recommended to me, or that I have heard about. What comes up about the company? You will find review, articles, and other things. Then do a search on the company owner. Is there anything good or bad that comes up?
- Call the top three companies to set up appointments. If I have a bad experience during this phase, I would take them off the list, and add a new one. Think of this stage as the dating period. If you have a bad experience during this stage, you can only imagine what will happen later if you contract with them.
- Meet and greet. At the estimate appointment, you need to get to know them. Ask them questions. How do they answer? Are they knowledgeable? Do they give you good ideas? Or do they only do what you ask? This is added value in my opinion.
- Do they do what they say? I get frustrated when someone tells me they will get the bid back to me in a day or two, and it comes back in a week, or worse, I have to call to ask for it. This tells you about how organized they are…and again, how it will be like to work with them.
- Make a decision based on my budget, and what was presented, how it was presented, and how they made me feel. You have to make me feel confident that you are “the guy.”
It’s like interviewing a new hire. If you do this at work, then you know how to do it for hiring a painting contractor. Far too often I hear people tell me they wish they would have listened to their inner voice, but went with someone because of a lower price. I’ll be honest, we will never be the lowest price. But we will answer our phone, come when you ask us, do what we say, and stand behind our work for the long haul. OK, off my soapbox.
Okay, why am I writing about my competitors?
First, many of them don’t compete with us directly as they focus on commercial painting, exterior painting, or are in an area we don’t focus on. And, to be honest, I don’t find many of the businesses on this list to be good competitors, and the ones that I do consider competition, I’m still not afraid of. There are some good painters out there, and a few of them, we might refer you to for different reasons…we don’t do all types of painting. I believe, however, we are truly the best residential interior painting company in Denver. Sorry if that sounds a bit egotistical, but if I don’t say it, who would…right? I honestly believe if you do the 6 things above, called all the companies I have listed above, you would land on Walls by Design to paint anything in your home. The only way we might not win on is availability. While we have nine teams (and growing), we cannot always get to projects on a timeline that is requested. If you call me to paint your 3000 square foot house next week, the chances are pretty slim. Now, we do have holes in our schedule that pop up occasionally, but I can’t always promise. In my next post, I am going to talk about referral services like Angie’s List, Tom Martino, and others, and why you can’t always believe them either.